Whenever I ask my friend in Moscow, Alisa – how are things, she often tells me she’s at Dacha, her holiday house near the Russian capital. Asking her to tell me more, I understood that Dacha (a term without equivalent in other language) is a real way of life in Russia, with a peculiar specific in the area of Moscow. Almost all the Muscovites, not just the wealthy ones, have a Dacha near the city where they grow vegetables, go out and relax during weekends, summer holidays or just go to have a”shashlik” which means barbeque. Thus, on weekends, the villages around the city are covered by the shady clouds from the shashliks in the Dachas.
The tradition of Dacha is old, but in the area of Moscow it is special. Immediately after the Second World War, the Communist authorities, in their attempt to reduce the shortages created by the war – had the initiative to give the Russians a 600-square-meter plot of land near Moscow, provided they cultivated it to get vegetables and fruits. Almost every working man had the opportunity to own a property near the city to grow his own garden, a true heavenly manna in those times of shortcomings.
Many years later, people converted their Dacha to summer homes where they spend their weekends and vacations; those who did not have land, bought a plot. I thought about the Romanian equivalent for Dacha. Many of us have grandparents with houses where grew up and where we go to visit from time to time. Others, much less – we have a holiday cottage at sea or mountain. Unfortunately, long distances and the lack of time make us visit them more and more rarely.
When I am in the middle of nature, I notice what we lack, the townspeople: the simple relationship to balance our soul and mind – the connection with nature and the earth. Among the trees, grass, endless blue sky and cricket’s concert, my life seems more beautiful, the worries disappear for a time and I can focus better on my weekly activities.
More or less influenced by the story of the Russian Dachas that Alisa has shared for years, I also found my Dacha near Bucharest, where I relax in the middle of nature. It is the residential complex Intrarea cu Tei near Bucharest, on the road to Targoviste. At my Dacha I admired the Perseids (falling stars) lying on the grass in a sleeping bag, I found the smell of my childhood in the summer rain or the freshly cut scent of grass, but also the balance so necessary for living in a metropolis.
Spending several weekends here, I had the opportunity to visit the surroundings, some of them I did not even know they existed. I found the inspiration to visit the Brâncoveanu Potlogi Palace, the Royal Court in Târgovişte, the Stirbey Palace in Buftea and the Brâncovenesc Palace in Mogoşoaia.